Cape Town’s very own divo, Alistair Izobell, is calling the tunes as music director on the hit production Aunty Merle The Musical.
Comedian Marc Lottering’s alter ego, Aunty Merle Abrahams from Belgravia Road in Athlone is back for a third season and has already had numerous standing ovations from appreciative audiences since the show reopened at the Baxter Theatre this week.
We caught up with Alistair, 42, for the inside scoop.
“Yes, we are back with a bang and ready to entertain, people are going to enjoy some new surprises which I can’t give away too much,” he says.
“We all know Aunty Merle is a lekker vrou and she brings a lekker atmosphere when she enters the stage. The cast is young and energetic and so is the music.”
Alistair tells the Daily Voice the choice of music was much influenced by their seven-piece band, consisting of Yvan Potts (keyboard), Tyrone Marinus (acoustic and electric guitar), Marcelle Adams (trumpet), Keith de Bruyn (drums), Franco Mannel (bass guitar), Juan van As(saxophone) and Sheraaz Mannel (trombone).
“They make this musical pop to life with their extraordinary talent, this makes my job so much easier,” says Alistair.
The witty lyrics for Aunty Merle were written by Marc and singer Tarryn Lamb, who played Abigail when the first season opened in December 2017.
Tarryn has since left the show due to other commitments.
Alistair says working on Aunty Merle brought back memories of his youth.
“I was eight going on nine when I walked into the Baxter Theatre for the first time 33 years ago,” he reminisces.
“I remember wearing a handmade jersey that Mrs Adams (the mother of Emo and Loukmaan Adams) had made for me.
“I went to audition for the role of Broertjie in a Taliep Petersen and David Kramer production,” he says, his eyes welling up with tears as he remembers “growing up in the Baxter” under the guidance of David and Taliep.
“This is the place I spent most of my days as a child.
“The very theatre I am producing and directing in now, raised me to be the performer I am today.”
Aunty Merle The Musical is currently running at the Baxter Theatre until 5 January.
Ticket, ranging from R100 to R195, and are available from Webtickets, Pick n Pay and the Baxter box office on 021 685 7880.
Daily Voice readers stand a chance to win 15 double tickets to see the hit musical.
Keep reading your favourite koerant next week to find out how to enter the competition.